Summer Sounds Like Dance, Eminem Sounds Like Ass, and Other Songs of the Week

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We’re trying something slightly different in Songs of the Week, still spotlighting the greatest new tunes while also analyzing notable tracks that we don’t quite love. Find our new favorites and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist, and for other great songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, we survey the week in music with new tracks from Disclosure, Eminem, and more.


Get Out the Sunscreen with Disclosure, Romy, and Fred again..

The warmth of the sun, the vivid green grass, hundreds of urbanites exalting in fresh air — we’ve made it to summer, and this week, dance music has heeded the call.

Okay, maybe it’s more than just summer. Primavera Sound is currently going down in Barcelona, and as we know with Coachella and Glastonbury, a lot of artists gear up a special release to preview their performances. Both Disclosure and Romy have had their respective new songs — “She’s Gone, Dance On” and “Always Forever” — in their live shows for a while now, and both are set to play major sets at Primavera this weekend. So, it makes sense that they’ve decided to drop these great new tracks this week (of all weeks).

But it does help that the giddiness that comes with warming weather matches perfectly with dance music. Disclosure’s new track in particular feels revelatory: At a breakneck pace and with a harmony-laden, chipmunk’d soul sample, “She’s Gone, Dance On” is a hyperactive beast. The song combines some of the more eclectic stylings that Disclosure have been employing of late (the chopped-up vocals especially) with the classic percussive edge from their 10-year old debut Settle.

It’s fascinating to consider the duo’s evolution as dance music has altered over the years. Disclosure have been at the right place in the right time twice now. Their initial breakout brought overwhelmingly thorough pop sensibilities to the club, all at a time when EDM drops were getting atrociously big and the pop songwriting was getting lackluster. But now, there’s less of a demand for the type of pop-centered craftsmanship than 10 years ago — drops are out, the groove is king, and samples are very, very important. Disclosure have grown with these changes, and “She’s Gone, Dance On” indicates their mastery of the form.

Romy, meanwhile, continues her victory lap with the nostalgic “Always Forever,” which samples Donna Lewis’ 1996 banger “I Love You Always Forever.” Like the majority of her exuberant 2023 LP Mid Air, Romy reprises the Euro-trance vibe for a cathartic, kaleidoscopic turn. It also feels heavily in line with the consuming adoration found in Mid Air — love not as an action, but as a state of being.

Funnily enough, “Always Forever” was co-produced by regular Romy collaborator and current captain of dance music, Fred again.., who himself dropped “places to be” with CHIKA and Anderson. Paak this week. Though Fred (surprisingly) isn’t at Primavera Sound this weekend, he is about to headline Bonnaroo in a couple weeks, so there’s definitely a festival-ready air to “places to be.” Still, while Fred again.. can create magical hooks out of scraps, “places to be” is a little overstuffed; the beat drives, but CHIKA and Paak sound lost in the mix, and the track ends up fizzling out midway through.

Out of everyone though, no one seems to be having more fun that Charli XCX right now — who is playing Primavera Sound on Saturday night, and has treated fans to a special remix of “360” featuring the Swedish stalwarts Robyn and Yung Lean. Her album Brat is dropping next week, and once again, it feels like Charli XCX has combined the past and the future to create something totally alien, living in its own dimension. It’s Charli’s world, and we’re living in it.

— Paolo Ragusa
Associate Editor

The Death of Slim Shady Isn’t Very Lively

At this point in his career, Eminem is only battling with the ghosts of his past, a concept he’s taking literally with the title of his new album, The Death of Slim Shady (Coup de Grâce), and the interpolation of “Without Me” on “Houdini.”

While channeling his halcyon days could turn out to be a good thing, the early returns aren’t quite there yet. Em’s requisite shots at other celebrities (“If I was to ask for Megan Thee Stallion if she would collab with me/ Would I really have a shot at a feat?”) are more predictable and boring than shocking and clever. We could also do without his complaining about being “targeted” by the TikTok backlash when leaning into controversy has been his strategy this whole time.

— Eddie Fu
News Editor

See below for some of our favorite tracks from this week.


Staff Picks: Best Songs of the Week May 26th – 31st

ATEEZ — “WORK”

K-pop group ATEEZ have been crushing it throughout 2024, and they’re riding the momentum from their killer Coachella debut by delivering an absurdly fun EP just in time for summer. The focal point of Golden Hour: Part 1 is “WORK,” a track that perfectly encapsulates what the eight members of ATEEZ do best: Craft an earworm of a chorus, give each bandmate a moment to shine, and all but drag the listener to the dance floor. The fact that the music video is (characteristically) extremely unserious doesn’t make “WORK” any less of a seriously great song. — Mary Siroky

bby — “fucked up”

Buzzy UK indie rockers bby have finally announced their debut album, the aptly-titled 1. As a first taste, the band has dropped “fucked up,” an ever-evolving ditty about finding solace in mind-altering substances. “What if I feel more like myself when I’m fucked up?,” vocalist Benjy sings through a distorted, compressed-as-hell vocal chain, examining how liberating and tragic such self-medication can be. All the while, the instrumental drives ahead with a bustling groove as swirling sonic elements enter, make their presence known, and just as quickly exit. — Jonah Krueger

Cody Belew — “Horseshoes & Hand Grenades”

One of the freshest voices coming out of Nashville at the moment, Cody Belew is back with his new disco-country single, “Horseshoes & Hand Grenades.” Anyone who loved the sparkling, carefree energy of Kacey Musgraves’ “High Horse” has come to the right place, and if you’ve ever found yourself wondering what kind of song Elton John might’ve released after a few years of living in Tennessee, look no further. — M. Siroky

Dirty Three — “Love Changes Everything II”

Seasoned post-rock outfit Dirty Three are set to release their first album in over a decade, Love Changes Everything, an extended composition split into six parts. “Love Changes Everything II” arrives (fittingly) as the second single, and throughout its six-and-a-half-minute runtime, the mood remains ominous and melancholic. Led by prominent, slightly dissonant piano chords, the backing instrumental of arrhythmic drums, lonesome guitar lines, and hazy atmospherics comes together for a deeply emotional, lyricless movement. — J. Krueger

Gift — “Going in Circles”

In addition to announcing their sophomore album Illuminator, New York City’s GIFT are back this week with the effervescent dream pop cut “Going in Circles.” The band’s emphasis on craftsmanship is certainly evident on “Going in Circles,” carefully constructing each sonic element and then subsequently elevating them onto a widescreen canvas in the chorus. Somehow, they’ve managed to rival the majesty of their earlier single, “Wish Me Away” — two singles in, GIFT just keep getting better and better. — P. Ragusa

Girl Scout — “I Just Needed You to Know”

Girl Scout are back with an absolute scorcher. “I Just Needed You to Know” does not possess the kind of indie rock that the Swedish group have become known for, trading a more contemplative sound for one that’s urgent, desperate, seismic, and above all, loud. You can practically envision this one destroying at a Girl Scout show, the multi-layered harmonies ringing out in the climax like a visceral, cathartic release. “I Just Needed You to Know,” well, with a song like this, we’re never going to forget it. — P. Ragusa

Lady Parts – “Villain Era”

The Peacock musical comedy We Are Lady Parts is packed with great music, as befits a TV show about an aspiring punk band, and its second season delivered this incredibly relatable banger. As the season begins, Lady Parts’ timid lead guitarist Amina (Anjana Vasan) has decided to draw some more boundaries for herself, because she is now entering her “Villain Era”… which is to say, she’ll “respond to your email at a reasonable hour.” Check out the rest of the We Are Lady Parts soundtrack for the titular band’s new covers of “Oops I Did It Again” and Hoobastank’s “The Reason” — as well as all the great tracks from Season 1. — Liz Shannon Miller

Lucky Daye — “Soft”

Come for the incredible bassline and honey-warm vocals, stay for the switch-up that takes place halfway through Lucky Daye’s “Soft.” The R&B artist has such a mastery of melody, but the surprise of this single is the unexpected direction for the instrumentals. If this is any indicator of the album set to arrive on June 28th, titled Algorithm, anticipation should be high. — M. Siroky

Philine Sonny & Miya Folick — “Shame”

German singer-songwriter Philine Sonny and Los Angeles-based artist Miya Folick have linked up for the dynamic, intensely satisfying “Shame.” The tune starts out in typical singer-songwriter fashion, with an acoustic guitar and sweetly sung vocals, before ramping up its intensity over the course of its runtime. Then, two minutes in, an explosion of distorted guitars and throat-shredding screaming breaks up the resonance of the song. It’s one of a few successful tricks the pair pulls, resulting in a track that’s wildly interesting and incredibly replayable. — J. Krueger

Sasami — “Honeycrash”

CoSign alum SASAMI commands attention. With new single “Honeycrash,” though, there’s something particularly noteworthy about the contrast, where her delicate vocals sit in direct opposition to the heavy guitar chords and striking production. It almost reads as vulnerability, which aligns with SASAMI’s explanation that she set out to infuse 19th century drama with a 2024 narrative perspective. — M. Siroky

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Summer Sounds Like Dance, Eminem Sounds Like Ass, and Other Songs of the Week
Paolo Ragusa

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